2014 Recipient Bios

2014 Award RecipientsCommunity Award

Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc., Chi Epsilon Omega Chapter

The Alpha Kappa Alpha Chi Epsilon Omega Chapter was the first African American organization to be chartered in East Lansing. They are a dedicated group of African American women of all ages who have chosen to come together and make a difference in the local community.

The AKAs have contributed numerous volunteer hours to local charities , program and events, including Haven House, the MSU Food Bank, MSU Safe Place, the Summer Solstice Jazz Festival, the East Lansing Folk Festival, the Winter Glow, the Race for the Place 5K Run, the Recycle! East Lansing event and more. The group has made tremendous contributions to Haven House, specifically, including $6,000 in cash donations; the purchase and donation of a number of urgent need items for the shelter; and special volunteer events, including ice cream socials, pizza parties, holiday events, a children’s carnival, back-to-school backpacks and school supplies, painting of all the bedrooms and more.

The AKAs have also supported local youth through education and scholarships, including scholarships to graduating seniors in East Lansing since 2004 and a partnership with MacDonald Middle School for the Emerging Young Leaders Program since 2011. The group also provided a scholarship to a Whitehills Elementary student to attend summer camp at Impression 5 Science Center in 2005.

The AKAs have made a difference in the lives of so many in the local community. They have provided or assisted with workshops on breast cancer and wellness, college preparation, CPR and emergency weather preparedness and are planning a Girls Summit for 2014. They have made a concerted effort to support education, women and children and families through various avenues and their recognition is well-deserved. They are a truly dedicated group of women who genuinely care about the success of the members of their community.

George Brookover

George Brookover is a quintessential civic leader who has earned the respect of countless people in East Lansing community and beyond. One community member described George best when she said “I believe there are people who hold together the foundations of a town, and there are people who add the spice to a town – rarely are those two key ingredients found in the same person.”

George has given much in terms of public service in the East Lansing community, having served on the East Lansing School Board, the East Lansing Planning Commission, the Peoples’ Church Board of Elders, the East Lansing Housing Commission, the East Lansing Community Development Advisory Committee and the East Lansing Educational Foundation. Brookover has always displayed great leadership, especially during his service as president of the East Lansing School Board and as chair of the East Lansing Planning Commission. He has dedicated countless hours of service to the community, while also running a successful, long-time law practice in East Lansing.

George grew up in East Lansing and his family has a history of known contributions to the East Lansing community. The apple did not fall far from the tree, as George took his early experiences and attachments to the community and has carried on his family’s legacy of giving back. In addition to his visible contributions to the community, George has done so much behind the scenes in promoting compromise on tough issues and helping people find common ground.

George’s service, generosity, dedication and love for East Lansing are evident in all that he does.

Pat Enos, Ph.D

Pat Enos, Ph.D has dedicated countless hours to town-gown initiatives in the East Lansing-MSU community, in an effort to spark connections and bridge the gap between diverse groups of community members. She has an impressive legacy of contributions to the East Lansing community through her career at MSU, her time as a Community Relations Coalition (CRC) board member and her commitment to the community as a resident of the Bailey neighborhood.

Pat was instrumental in the development of the CRC and MSU’s Community Liaison position, both of which have helped to orient the university outward towards the community and to significantly improve town-gown relationships. After helping to develop the CRC, Pat went on to serve as a founding board member and has been active on the board ever since – even into retirement. She has contributed to the growth and success of the CRC organization as a whole and to the development of dozens of students who have served in the CRC’s internship program. She also has been instrumental in the planning of a number of CRC events, including community conversations, the Taste of East Lansing, neighborhood cleanups and the annual neighborhood ice cream socials. In addition to her service with the CRC, Pat provided many years of leadership as a co-chair of the Celebrations Committee - a city-university group that works to anticipate and mitigate disorderly and destructive celebrations in the East Lansing-MSU community.

Outside of her involvement with many town-gown initiatives, Pat has been a long-time resident of the community, raising her three children in East Lansing, and has been a very active member and volunteer at All Saints Episcopal Church.

Pat deserves recognition not only for what she has done to build relationships in the community, but also for the number of people’s lives she has touched. Pat has empowered students to be a part of and take ownership of the East Lansing community and she has been a consummate supporter of the City, providing close to two decades of involvement. Her dedication, passion and interest in the lives of others have inspired many.

Business Award

Jackson National Life

Jackson National Life has given a tremendous amount of financial and volunteer support to various nonprofits, charitable organizations, special events and projects in the local East Lansing community.

Jackson encourages its employees to embrace and be involved in the community through the establishment of special employee giving programs, including a “double match” program in which employee donations to local charities are doubled by Jackson National and a volunteer program in which each Jackson employee is given one paid day off a year to volunteer in the community. The volunteer program has resulted in more than 9,000 hours of community volunteer work each year by Jackson employees. The company itself also makes a number of large donations to different events and programs in an effort to support arts, culture and enrichment in the region.

East Lansing programs and charities that have benefitted from Jackson’s generosity, both monetarily and voluntarily, include, but are not limited to: the All-of-us Express Children’s Theatre, Art for Charlie, Wharton Center’s Seat 4 Kids Program, Butterflies in the Garden, the MSU Community Music School, Haven House, LAP Respite Center, the East Lansing Art Festival, the Great Lakes Folk Festival, One Book, One Community, WKAR’s Ready to Learn Service, MSU Athletics and the Burcham Hills Retirement Community.

Jackson’s newest contribution to the East Lansing community came with the opening of the Zone in downtown East Lansing. The Zone is located in a 33,000-square-foot anchor space in the heart of the East Lansing community and it currently employs 195 people. The space features a cool, cutting-edge interior design and serves as a talent portal, providing opportunities for future MSU graduates to stay and keep working in the East Lansing area. The Zone has positively impacted many of the surrounding businesses in downtown East Lansing, with employees dining in downtown restaurants and shopping in downtown stores. The space, itself, has also become a great central location for local charity events.

It is no wonder that Jackson proudly totes the slogan “Jackson Involved.” They are a model company for community outreach and support.